Off the Air by Christina Estes

Off the Air by Christina Estes

Off the Air features Phoenix television reporter, Jolene Garcia, who is covering the murder of a local conservative radio talk show host. Jolene is always on the lookout for the next big story, so she jumps right into this one, trying to get exclusive interviews, information on the air before any of the competitors, and the best leads. I will say I didn't always like Jolene. She is determined, but totally willing to hurt people along the way, but I could feel her frustration when she had info she couldn't share or when someone "stole" her interview. I'm also a little tired of backstories lately. Jolene was in the foster system for years before being adopted by her grandmother more out of responsibility than love. She was attacked by a dog when she was a child, causing a fear of dogs that of course comes into play. She also made an inaccurate report at her previous job that affects how...
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The Clock Struck Murder by Betty Webb

The Clock Struck Murder by Betty Webb

Paris during the 1924 Olympics is a wonderful setting. Zoe, an artist, has been living in the city for 6 years, since she was exiled from Alabama. She has a lot of backstory, almost too much for one character. Anyway, she stumbles across a stolen Chagall painting and then the body of a murdered woman. She takes it upon herself to try to track down more of the paintings and also starts asking questions of people who knew Laurette. The plot was fine even if the killer was a bit obvious. It's also a who's who among the expats in Paris at the time. We either meet or hear gossip about Marc Chagall and his family, poet Blaise Cendrars, Ernest and Hadley Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, and Pablo Picasso and his first wife. We're also introduced to several members of the American swim team. The author shoves a lot in to this book. I actually liked Zoe. She's...
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The Murder of Mr. Ma by John Shen Yen Nee and S.J. Rozan

The Murder of Mr. Ma by John Shen Yen Nee and S.J. Rozan

Lao She is an unassuming, respectable young scholar from China who has emigrated to London and now teaches Chinese language at Oxford and wants to write a novel. Then he is called to the home of philosopher Bertrand Russell who needs his assistance - in breaking a friend out of jail. It's during this errand that Lao meets Judge Dee Ren Jie. I do have to say it's an interesting meeting and sets the tone for the rest of the book. Judge Dee is in London to investigate the death of Mr. Ma, a fellow member of the Chinese Labor Corps who served in France during the First World War and was allowed to come to London afterward. Lao, who is more familiar with the city, offers to help Dee, but soon another Chinese man is found dead and the whole situation becomes more complicated. Lao is our Watson to Dee's Sherlock. I listened to the audiobook, which worked well....
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A Rather Dastardly Death by Anthony Slayton

A Rather Dastardly Death by Anthony Slayton

A Rather Dastardly Death is the second of the Mr. Quayle Mysteries and the Lord Unsworth and his family are on vacation in the French Riviera, trying to get some distance from the events of A Quite Deadly Affair. Of course, it's not long until someone is murdered, a woman Lord Unsworth knew decades earlier, and the family gets caught up in another investigation. Mr. Quayle, at Lord Unsworth's request, agrees to assist in solving the mystery and protecting the family's reputation if possible. This is a fun old-fashioned murder mystery with plenty of suspects and possible motives. The dead woman, Lady Rosaline Barrett De Marchi, Widow of Treville-Sur-Mer, was surrounded by "admirers" and hangers-on, any of whom could have killed her. We also have a side plot regarding a jewel thief who may be in the Riviera and a statuette from Lady Rosaline's collection is missing. All of the characters are notable, but Quayle is what makes this series work...
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Sounds Like a Plan by Pamela Samuels Young and Dwayne Alexander Smith

Sounds Like a Plan by Pamela Samuels Young and Dwayne Alexander Smith

Mackenzie and Jackson are private investigators hired to investigate a missing person case. The first person to find the missing woman gets the reward. The two end up working together, a partnership with tension and plenty of sparks. The book alternates between Jackson's and Mackenzie's point of view, allowing us to know how each is thinking and feeling about the case and about each other. Jackson is determined and can be charming, but is a bit sexist. He also makes at least one offensive joke, if nor more. A joke that could have been left out without any harming the plot or character development at all. Mackenzie is smart and headstrong. They make a good team. The plot is a little over the top. We've got top-notch hackers, hired killers and a kidnapper, but it's fun in an action movie kind of way. The wrap-up to the mystery is a bit quick, but I honestly didn't see it coming. ...
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Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany

Deadly Summer Nights by Vicki Delany

Deadly Summer Nights is set in 1953 in the Catskills. Elizabeth Grady, a bookkeeper in New York City, was convinced by her mother, Olivia, to manage Haggerman's Resort, which Olivia recently inherited. Elizabeth has her work cut out for her dealing with guests and staff, then, to top it all off, one of the guests ends up dead, murdered and left floating in the lake. The local police find a copy of The Communist Manifesto in the man's cottage and the rumors that the resort is harboring communists start flying. Elizabeth is anxious to solve this mystery as soon as possible and save the resort's reputation. The setting is so fun. I love the resort with all its activities and entertainment. The clothes and drinks and slang were perfect, too. Elizabeth is a good protagonist, smart and level-headed, but not unemotional. Her mom, Olivia, a former actress, is a blast. She knows how to exude charm and when to offer free...
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